NCEP Synergy Meeting Highlights: February 6, 2012


This meeting was led by David Novak (HPC), and attended by Michelle Mainelli (NCO),

Chris Caruso-Magee (NCO), Rebecca Cosgrove (NCO), Carissa Klemmer (NCO), Shrinivas Moorthi (EMC), Jordan Alpert (EMC), Eric Rogers (EMC), Hendrik Tolman (EMC), Bob Grumbine (EMC), Mary Hart (EMC), Stephen Barry (EMC), Mary Hart (EMC), David Bright (AWC), Steve Silberberg (AWC), Steve Weiss (SPC), Andy Dean (SPC), Michael Brennan (NHC), Richard Pasch (NHC), Keith Brill (HPC), Scott Scallion (MDL), Gene Petrescu (AR), Andy Edman (WR), Chris Smallcomb (WR), Pete Browning (CR), Bernard Meisner (SR), Melissa Kreller (SR), Jeff Waldstreicher (ER), Brian Miretzky (ER), Josh Watson (ER), John Kelly (NOS), and Frank Aikman (NOS)


1. NCO (Chris Caruso-Magee)


Supercomputer Issues

Cirrus encountered disk problems which forced the emergency CCS switch to Stratus on Feb 6. In general, switches between Cirrus and Stratus have become frequent, disrupting development testing.


GFS Ensemble Forecast System

Implementation date is 12 UTC Tuesday Feb 14.


Rapid Refresh (RAP)

30-day evaluation ends 2-23. Earliest possible implementation date is 3/6.



A 140 m/s stratospheric wind caused a crash on 12/24. A fix for this situation and additions to GEMPAK are being tested.



2.5KM CONUS Gridded MOS and HRQPF are expected to be implemented in early March.


Ensemble Kernal Density MOS is being worked on by NCO for



NCO is currently working on NGOFS (NOS model), the Hybrid Data Assimilation for the GFS, Global Multi-grid Wave model physics upgrade, update to the Global Dumps (for D. Keyser), and the Verification upgrade ( only used by EMC).


Changes to USGS decoder and SHEF decoder were implemented Feb 7. This implementation benefits NOS and any users of these data types.


CCS quarterly upgrade for Cirrus is planned for 2/15 but is on hold pending resolution Cirrus disk problems which forced the emergency CCS switch. 


For the latest schedule updates see:



2a. Global Climate and Weather Modeling Branch (GCWMB) (Shrinivas Moorthi, Jordan Alpert)


Data Assimilation/Hybrid 3-D VAR Ensemble Kalman Filter (3D-VAR/EnKF)


The parallel forecast has begun which was started at 1 June 2011 and has been run up to real time. A cold bias over polar regions was discovered. Investigation showed that not enough cloud was being created and that changes to a parameter controlling super-saturation improved the situation. NHC expressed interest in seeing how this change affects the tropical cyclones and NHC and EMC will do so. Most skill indications are positive regarding the full changes.


The implementation is expected no earlier than April 24th, 2012.


Establishing a EMC/NCO/HPC Model Monitoring Group

Preliminary meetings have begun regarding the establishment of a model monitoring group among EMC/NCO/HPC. Such a group would mimic the function of the ECMWF monitoring program, and encourage model development eyes on the model output on a daily basis. More details will come. 


2b. Global Ensemble Prediction System (GEFS)


The new GEFS goes in 12 UTC Tuesday Feb 14. Evaluations were neutral to positive. The biggest improvement appears to be with tropical cyclones in the Atlantic Basin. The implementation introduces a cold bias in 2 m temperature, which EMC is investigating aggressively.


2c. Mesoscale Modeling Branch (MMB) (Eric Rogers)


Recent NAM issues
  - NAM forecast failed at 06z 12/24/2011
  - Problem traced to linear instability associated with a very strong (~135 m/s) stratospheric jet over the Arctic
  - A fix for the problem was identified and tested successfully, implementation into ops NAM pending
  - In early January, NAM CONUS nest had noise problems (non-fatal) in height fields due to CFL violations associated a strong upper tropospheric jet off New England; increasing the divergence damping eliminated the noise. Implementation into ops NAM is pending, and will be done at the same time as the fix for the 06z 12/24/2011 failure.


Rapid Refresh
 - NCO currently running 30 day parallel evaluation, ends March 10.
 - Tentative implementation date is March 20, 2012

More information and results can be found here ( under "Implementation Briefing" in last column of the NAM 3.0 row; and under the EMC home page ( under "NAM Upgrade" on the right, click "Description of Changes


SREF implementation

The new SREF is run with horizontal grid spacing of 16-17 km, essentially half the grid spacing used now. Other changes will include

                     Elimination of Eta and RSM

                     Addition of the NMMB

                     More diverse physical parameterizations

                     An initial condition perturbation strategy using a hybrid Breeding and Ensemble Transform method, and analyses from GDAS, NDAS, and Rapid Refresh

                     Post-processing enhancements  


Expect 30 day parallel to start sometime in March; NCO will run 30 day parallel on development machine with the GFS EnKF 30 day parallel test because there is insufficient room on the production machine to run both parallels. To minimize the impact on development, the NCO SREF parallel will use fewer resources than it would in production, resulting in delayed real-time availability.


The new SREF has a tentative implementation in early May.

2d. Marine Modeling and Analysis Branch (MMAB) (Hendrik Tolman)



There are several planned upgrades, although no parallels have been scheduled yet.


Wave models


Wave physics are being upgraded. This improves the winter time swell bias in the North Pacific


Working on GRIB 2 update for AWIPS II to allow wave model output.


Ice / SST

-RFCs are in development for assimilation of the SSMI-S dataset for the ice concentration model


-Improvement in the resolution of the ice drift model planned.


-Working on modernizing the climatology used in the RGSST.






NGOFS (Northern Gulf of Mexico Operational Forecast System) is on schedule for operational implementation by March 27, 2012.

ESTOFS (Extratropical Surge and Tide Operational Forecast System) is on schedule for operational implementation by April 02, 2012.

CREOFS (Columbia River & Estuary Operational Forecast System) is on schedule for operational implementation by June 05, 2012.


SFBOFS (San Francisco Bay Operational Forecast System) is on schedule for operational implementation by March 31, 2013.




4a. MDL (Scott Scallion)


HRMOS QPF and 2.5 km gridded MOS have completed the necessary length of time for parallels and are ready to move into production. If any of the centers or regions want to provide comments MDL will include them in our briefing package. Expecting a early March implementation date.

The next upcoming implementations from MDL are the first elements for EKDMOS (T, Td, Tmax, Tmin) and upgrades to the LAMP station guidance. 


4b. NCEP Centers and NWS Regions


Southern Region GSD providing series of webinars on the new RAP for forecasters.


5. Michelle Mainelli, NCO presented on the AWIPS SREC prioritization process for new AWIPS requirements.


6. The next scheduled Synergy Meeting will be Monday, March 26, 2012.